League of Women Voters v. Newby

On January 29, 2016, Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Executive Director Brian Newby sent letters to the secretaries of state of Alabama, Georgia, and Kansas stating, without further explanation, that proof of citizenship would now be required for voters signing up in those states using the federal voter registration form.

League of Women Voters of the United States, along with its Alabama, Georgia, and Kansas state Leagues, filed suit in federal court on February 12, 2016. Civil rights groups the Georgia NAACP, the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, and Project Vote, along with Marvin Brown and JoAnn Brown, also joined the suit against the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The complaint was submitted by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law with pro bono counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the American Civil Liberties Union with pro bono counsel Steptoe & Johnson LLP; and Project Vote with pro bono counsel Arnold & Porter LLP.

The complaint alleges that Mr. Newby did not have authority to allow the three states to enforce documentary proof of citizenship requirements on the federal form, and that doing so violated both EAC policy and federal law.

In June 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied plaintiffs’ motion for a restraining order and preliminary injunction.

On September 9, 2016, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. District overturned the lower court’s decision, and granted the motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the adding of proof-of-citizenship requirements to the instructions for the federal form in these three states.

On Sept. 23, the court issued its opinion to accompany this decision, conclusing that the plaintiffs “have a substantial (perhaps overwhelming) likelihood of success on the merits” of the case, and stating that it was “difficult to imagine a more clear violation” of administrative law.

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Legislative Threats and Opportunities Update

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With this new wave of hostility toward the democratic process, we can expect to see fewer viable legislative efforts to modernize election administration, and more egregious efforts to block the vote. Read more

League of Women Voters v. Newby: Opinion in Order Granting Preliminary Injunction

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The U.S. Court of Appeals released its opinion to accompany the Sept. 9 order granting a preliminary injunction to prevent proof-of-citizenship requirements being added to the federal voter registration form. Read more

Appeals court nixes proof of citizenship for voting in Georgia

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by Kristina Torres, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution A federal appeals court ruling late Friday blocked Georgia and two other states from... Read more

Appeals court strikes down proof-of-citizenship voting requirement in 3 states

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A victory for Project Vote and partners in our lawsuit to prevent improper proof-of-citizenship requirements in three states. Read more

League of Women Voters v. Newby: Order Overturning Denial of Preliminary Injunction

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The U.S. Court of Appeals overturned issued this order preliminarily enjoining changing the federal voter registration form to allow Kansas, Alabama, and Georgia to require documentary proof of citizenship. Read more

U.S. appeals court to hear challenge to proof-of-citizenship voting requirement

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With the election two months away, Project Vote and partners ask a federal appeals court panel to block enforcement of EAC director's illegal proof-of-citizenship guidelines. Read more

Judge Upholds Disputed Voter-Registration Forms

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A federal judge rejected arguments that recent changes to the National Mail Voter Registration Form instructing residents of three different states to provide proof of citizenship should be reversed. Read more

League of Women Voters v. Newby: Order Denying Plaintiff’s Preliminary Injunction

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Order denying plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction in LWV v. Newby Read more

Department of Justice disowns EAC director’s move on proof of citizenship for voters

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Even the federal government says the director of a federal election agency erred when he allowed a group of red states to require proof of citizenship for those looking to vote. Read more

Groups Ask Court for Immediate Halt of Voting Restrictions

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Project Vote and partners file a motion to halt enforcement of proof-of-citizenship requirements on federal voter registration form in three states. Read more